Virgin, Spouse, and Mother

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the day that honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin. In 1854, with the Bull Ineffabilis, Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception: “…We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in…

The Apocalypse: A Love Story

  Apocalypse. Yes, it’s a strong word that for most people might bring to mind images of burned out buildings, empty streets, and the dark underbellies of storm clouds ribbed with flashes of lightning. Dirty little remnants of humanity lie huddled in farmhouses or patches of woods while zombies and armed zealots roam the cities with torches, turning over cars, punishing and pillaging anyone in their path. That’s pretty intense stuff, and might even remind…

LOST and Found in Heaven

“Brothers and sisters: You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God…” – St. Paul, Ephesians 2:19 I’m sometimes struck by a strange recurring thought when boarding an airplane…what if this trip turns into an episode of LOST? ABC’s smash hit series LOST followed a motley bunch of airline passengers from all walks of life, who found themselves stranded on a…

TOB and the Year of Mercy

“Two men went up into the temple to pray; one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven,…

Homily for the First Sunday of Advent – Year A

Advent is a great longing, a patient waiting for HIM-the Great I AM, who is coming to judge the living and the dead. This liturgical year, we in the Church will focus on the Gospel of St. Matthew on Sunday’s (Cycle “A”). St. Matthew’s Gospel offers us the Coming of the Magi, the Sermon on the Mount and notion of Jesus as the Kingdom of God present among us now and in the Eschaton. How…

Homily for the Feast of All Saints Day

My brothers and sisters, at the conclusion of Mass we will pray the prayer after communion: As we adore you, O God, who alone are holy and wonderful in all your saints, we implore your grace, so that, coming to perfect holiness in the fullness of your love, we may pass from this pilgrim table to the banquet of our heavenly homeland. Through Christ our Lord. We are asking God’s grace to lead us from…

Homily for the Presentation of Mary

The Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary recalls when Sts. Joachim and Ann brought the Blessed Mother to the temple in accord with Jewish law (Leviticus 12). Before a child could be brought to the temple for their dedication to God the mother must first undergo a ritual purification in which she was considered “unclean.” Jewish women were considered unclean for seven days after the birth of a son and for fourteen…

“Santo Subito!”

  The average wait to see him was 13 hours. The line was over 3 miles long. Over 150 cardinals concelebrated, 700 archbishops and bishops were present, and 3,000 priests participated. It was the largest gathering of statesmen in human history. It was the first time an Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church had attended a papal funeral since the Great Schism of 1054. 159 foreign delegations were in attendance, as were 10 kings, 5…

The Haunting of Our Hearts

“We shall be haunted by a nostalgia for divine things, by a homesickness for God which is not eased in this world even by the presence of God.” – Caryll Houselander I’m certain I’m not alone in this. In feeling this feeling, this ache, that seems to always intensify when October comes. It has many names; orenda, sehnsucht, weltschmerz, hiraeth, šākan. It’s a simultaneous dissatisfaction with the world and a soul deep attraction to the…

Our Ten Favorite Quotes from Saint Teresa of Avila

Saint Teresa of Avila was a 16th century Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church. Her writings on mental prayer constitute an important contribution to the Church’s body of teaching on mystical theology. She’s also a favorite patron of the Theology of the Body Institute! In honor of her October 15th feast day, here are ten of our favorite quotes from this wise, witty, and deeply prayerful saint: 1. “Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing…